With many stringed instruments (by "stringed" we refer to instruments played with a bow) in existence, all over the world and throughout history, the violin may be the most iconic stringed instrument-at least with regard to soloing. The most expensive instruments in existence today are particular violins, with makers studying the art all over the world
The idea of bowed stringed instruments may have come to Europe from Asia, either from the Far East or from the Indian subcontinent. It is also possible that the origin of bowed strings is found in the Middle East, or, most likely of all, it may be that the idea of producing music by applying an ordinary hunting bow to a taut string was discovered independently in many parts of the world.
Amazingly, no one knows who exactly invented the violin. All we know for sure is that it first came to light in the north of Italy in the late 15th century or so, the product of a long line of experimentation by stringed-instrument makers. (The name luthier, as applied to stringed instrument makers reflects their earlier role as lute makers and repairers.) Cultura developments of the Renaissance take credit for the inception of the violin. Makers added a fingerboard to the medieval instrument, allowing the instrument to be bowed and strings shortened with fingers, rather than only plucked. The viola da braccio was the direct predecessor of the violin, eventually being made with four strings tuned in fifths (the violin's string intervals), the f-holes, and a peg-box for tuning. Compared to most other string-family instruments, the violin makes a higher, "soprano" sound, with short strings making a clear tonal sound lending itself for soloing. Production of sound comes from horse hair attached to a wooden bow. coated with "rosin" made from the resin of tree sap.
Violin making reached its apogee sometime in the seventeenth century in the town of Cremona, near the Po River. The Modern violin differs from the Baroque era (of the 17th and 18th centuries) in a few aspects: the neck of the modern violin slopes downward where the Baroque's extents straight, and the modern fingerboard goes much farther toward the bridge of the violin. The Baroque bow differs from the modern bow also, with the wood parallel to the hair until curving toward downward at the tip, while the modern bow curves downwardand then back up in a very slight concave shape
If you are a violinist, you would love to have an antique violin in your hands right now. Antique violins, just like other antiques, are priced objects that have a long history behind them. And they are probably very rare today, and valued at high prices, and sometimes reach millions of dollars
Why can antique violins command such high prices in auctions? The first ever violin made was in 1555 by famous violin maker Andrea Amati. He was the most well-known violin maker in the 16th century. However, into the 17th century, Amati's disciples, Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu rose to the stage. Stradivari and Guarneri improved and refine the violin models, which also become the definite model for violins today. While they are both rivals in violin-making, Stradivari and Guarneri went to on become famous violin makers in the 17th and 18th century, and also probably the best violin makers in history of violin. Though numerous violin makers come after them, they were no where near the top quality workmanship of the violin making masters. Stradivari and Guarneri together had just over a thousand violins hat are still in existence today. Hence, the rarity, along with the creator of the violin, give the antique violins reasons to command million-dollar prices at public auctions.
The quality of the materials used to make the antique violins does determine the price of the violins too. You may notice that famous violins were made in the period between 1700 and1725. Many termed this Stradivari's "golden period". Many experts discussed that the violins made during the period were considered the best due to the presence of a special quality of wood which only exist during that period.
For the violinmaker, wood is the most important material; it is only natural that the correct choice of wood is vital in order to achieve the best quality of sound. Wood that is too heavy because of its specific weight cannot be used-although it looks perhaps marvelous. It is also because of this aspect that mass-production of violins has to fail: these days even with modern, computer-controlled machines; the works is too mechanical, without any consideration for materials used. Mass-production will never fulfill the fundamental aspect.because each piece of wood nceds to be treated differently, even when the wood is chopped out of the same trunk, the single pieces are very different of each other. At the lower end of the trunk, the wood is generally harder than at the top, also, parts which grew in the sunshine obviously differ from parts that grew in the shadow.
However, some experts believe that despite a widespread belief in the old violins' superiority and the millions of dollars it now costs to buy a Stradivarius, the fiddles made by the old masters do not in fact sound better than high-quality modern instruments, according to a blindfolded hearing test. The modern instruments are very easy to play and sound good to ears, but what made the old instruments great was their power in a hall.
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
1.Bowed stringed instruments were invented most possibly by
A.hunters who used a bow and string to produce sound
B.people who lived in the Middle East
C Italian in the late 15th century.
D luthier whose earlier job was to make and repair lutes
2 The following statements describe the features of violin EXCEPT?
A It has the f-holes and four strings.
B It has a fingerboard and a peg-box.
C Its strings can be shortened with fingers
D It can only be plucked.
3 One reason why antique violins are so valuable is that
A they were made several centuries ago
B most of them were made by Andrea Amat
C their makers were students of Andrea Amati
D they were made by masters and remained fewer.
4 Large scale production may not make the best violin because
A.the best wood with special qualities no longer exists
B even computer-controlled machines cannot pick out the correct wood.:
C.wood is too heavy to be applied to mass-production.
D harder wood is better and has to be chopped out manually
5 According to a blindfolded hearing experiment,
A a modern violin sounds better than a Stradivarius.
B a Stradivarius sounds better than a modern violin.
C a Stradivarius sounds better in a special place.
D audiences can distinguish a modern violin and a Stradivarius.
Questions 6-9Choose FOUR letters, A-G.
According to the passage above, what are the difference between The Modern and the Baroque's violin?
A.The coating rosin
B The shape of the bow
C.The horse hair
D The length of the fingerboardE
E The bridge of the violin
F The shape of the neck
G The sound in a ball
10 Which of the following is the most suitable heading for the Reading Passage?
A The factors in determining the price of violins
B The origin of the violin and violin making
C The process of how to make a violin
D The difference between ancient and modern violin makers